Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life I love you, all is groovy...

5th Grade
As I sit here almost one year from the day of my surgery I am filled with feelings of joy and sadness.  I think facing and deeply accepting my own mortality was a journey I began when I was about eight, that was when I first began to obsess about the fact that I was actually going to die, some day.

Me when I was four, Madrid, Spain.

While standing at the sink tonight washing the dishes and listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits album I was transported like some cosmic Proustian moment back to my childhood.  My mom had this album when I was a kid and it brought me back to the days of playing in the basement with my toy horses, watching Sesame Street and dreaming about what I would do when I grew up.  My brother and I would listen to all of my mom's albums while she at work at one of her three jobs.  I knew every single word on this album...  and it is amazing that I still do.

My brother and me in Madrid, Spain, I was not yet four.

There is real hope, a positive energy, an adolsencent lullaby in that album for me…  Each song felt like home as I belted it out at the top of my lungs feeling so happy to be alive and knowing as I washed the dishes that it has all been a wonderful gift, a wonderful journey.  Despite the darkness and the pain, I can still feel and see the light, the beauty in it all.  My memories are of love and happiness.  Tears of joy and sadness met with a breath of reality and it streamed through my heart.  I am not afraid now, not afraid to live and not afraid to die.  I am so grateful that my spirit feels the beauty more than the pain….I love whole the story.  
El Condor Pasa, what a song…

My beloved Betty and my cousin in suburbia, 5th grade.

But the song that best captures my feelings now, the words I want to shout into the universe as February 2nd approaches are…

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' Groovy. 

I look just like my son in this picture and little like my friend Hannah too, don't ya think?  These are the days I listened to the album with my sweet little brother, right there next to my two, very best, best friends, Maryanne and Karen...

Hello lamp-post,
What cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' groovy. 

My birthday party, it was always just about the horses.

I've got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all it's petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

 The 59th Street Bridge Song 
Simon & Garfunkel

I am truly, honestly, completely living that song, everyday, thankfully.

My dad, my brother and me!  My brother lookin' like Glen Campbell.

Fifth Grade Pilgrim village, my mom could sew!!! 

My dad and I at Shakey's or was it Pappy's?

My mom in our little kitchen...

I wonder where Mrs. Robinson my music teacher is now?  She was one of those amazing hippies that touched my life, she had us singing this song in music class at Town Point  Elementary school in the very early 1970’s.  Thank you to all of you amazing open minded, progressive hippie teachers and adults that influenced me, that saved me.  God, it was good to be a kid in the seventies… 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Counting Sheep

These images reflect my landscape but not my mood.  I am not blue, or sad, or forlorn, or lonely, or empty.  Actually I am so optimistic, content, at peace, in love and so very full.  Sunset tonight was so dramatic, my camera couldn't capture the colors... my mind did.

Since my diagnosis I have moments when my heart skips a beat and my breath gets caught in my throat.  Sometimes late at night when I wake up to the sounds of the house settling I feel vulnerable, scared, even paranoid.  Thousands of fears and what ifs run through my mind waking me and pushing me into the shadows.  I pinpoint and analyze every little pain, stomach rumble, ache or throb and think it too has become something new, something ominous.  

So, I roll on to my back, breathe deeply and find my center.  I quietly, kindly say to myself, "breathe, I am o.k., my mind is racing because I am afraid, I remember the journey, I am at peace, I am o.k., I am awake therefore I am here.  I am in bed, it is time for sleep, to heal, to rejuvenate, to dream."  

I find the place in my stomach or chest where I am twisting the fear into panic and I breathe it out.  I relax my body, I think about my blessings, my gift of letting go. I think of all of the faces of my friends and family, the smiles I met that day, the animals.  It is not always easy to let go but it always works.  And then I drift into construction, making a purse, knitting a sweater, thinking about how I want to paint our bedroom, the cute little mirror I saw in the antique shop that inspired me, playing the violin.  I think about the things I love to do with my hands, my "free time".   I think about the things I want to do with the time that I have, the now.

Those are the sheep that I count.

Count your sheep.
Sleep well out there.  
Peaceful spirits and joyful hearts, fear is the real demon.

P.S.  Byron Katie has an interesting and powerful perspective on looking at life... 
try The Work.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Just a little glimmer...

I have been out and about lately.  I went to one of my haunts in the capital and found this sweet little pattern in my favorite sewing booth.  The pattern is from 1919 and so sweet.  I am going to be brave and try my hand at making one, though I am not 16...

Here are some goodies I got on my journey.  Some old, some new to me.  I got everything for very little.  The pattern was four, the sewing accoutrements and the little Godey print in the back, three each.  The snaps are Victorian and black, the wooden tube of needles is from 1923.  A total of eleven dollars and I have a plate over flowing with joy.  
Oh, and the plate, one dollar.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!  
Life on the Hollow is filled with the sounds of laughter and contentment, with sighs of sadness and lives passing. 
The entire circle, all of the struggle and all of the joy.   
We look with eager eyes to the blue moon, the snow and the new year.
  We accept it all with love and hope…..

Things are not always as they appear.

"In every life, no matter how full or empty one's purse, there is tragedy.  It is the one promise life always fulfills.  Thus, happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it but to delight in it when it comes, and to add to other people's store of it."

Charles Dickens
from the movie…Nicholas Nickleby

".... family need not be defined merely as those with whom they share blood but as those for who they would give their blood."

Charles Dickens

from the movie…Nicholas Nickleby

Happy New Year!  To all of my family, blood and heart!